Knuckleboom trucks versatility and efficiency have made such pieces of equipment popular in the commercial vehicle market especially when compared to the traditional stiff-boom types. Also, when compared to the stiff-boom versions, knuckleboom trucks are much lighter yet function very efficiently loading and unloading heavy material from one location to another.
The astonishing proficiency of these trucks is entirely the result of its articulating boom. This arm can be folded down to a small size when not in use, making it very practical on small and narrow residential streets as well as allowing more space for payloads. The boom's capability to extend and reach long distances brings the advantage of more versatility and control.
Managing the boom is very important in accomplishing any tasks with this vehicle which is why it is also the key factor of how customers make a determination of a particular truck model and any attachments. There are three types of handling systems from which to select: stand-up, ground, and radio remote-controlled versions.
- Stand up – The stand-up control station is usually located at the base of the boom arm. The most common handling feature of this version is the dual stations, where joystick-like handling devices are set up on both sides of the boom arm, offering identical functionality and easy access for the operator.
- Ground – The ground control is also commonly known as the control box while others called it a hook. An operator can temporarily sit on the ground to guide the arm to load and unload material. For safety purposes, the operator needs to be careful not to leave the hook on the ground once the task is completed or temporarily halted.
- Radio Remote – This particular control system can start and run the knuckleboom arm remotely. It consist of two mechanisms: a portable transmitter and a receiver installed with the truck's operation system. The portable transmitter, which is carried by the operator, uses radio frequencies to communicate with the receiver. This radio-controlled remote device also allows the operator to get immediate overload readouts when attached to an onboard computer system.
With the advancement of control systems for knuckleboom trucks, there has been a proportionate improvement in safety concerns. Below are safety features that are offered by each of the above-mentioned systems.
- A top model remote system has a range of up to 400 feet. This allows the operator to be an adequate safety distance from the load and still have precise guidance over the boom arm. The operator can be positioned in an ideal location where the load can be observed and handled.
- A ground control setup allows the operator to stand in a safe location that is not underneath the boom arm.
- The dual control feature of a stand-up system gives the operator the ability to operate the boom arm on the either the left or right side of the truck. Handling devices are identically configured so operators can not be confused as to which joystick is handling a particular operation.
- A remote control when connected to a computer system can detect overloads and can actually shut down the operation in an emergency for safety reasons to protect both the operator and the equipment from any hazard that could have due to continued operation of the boom with an overload.
The handling systems of knuckleboom trucks are an important accessory for one of these vehicles. Getting the best features for one of these vehicles certainly gains capability and performance as well as providing an answer to any safety concerns. Know the control system of the truck being used and feel a real sense of safety security!